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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Scott Weinberg, Feb 14, 2003.
Joel freakin' Schumacher. Ugh.
Why doesn't someone just give my my guilty pleasure of Phantom of the Opera with Robert Englund made back in the late 80's or early 90's. I've always like that for some reason. Of course, I haven't seen it in years.
It can't be as bad as the Dario Argento take on Phantom of the Opera. Now that is one of worst smelling films ever made.
Given all the versions there have been, I have to wonder if the rights to this thing are sold at flea markets.
Wait a second, if Webber picked Schumacher, then we don't have much to worry about, do we? It's not like Webber's not going to have creative involvement on this...
I don't like this musical to begin with. Still, I bristled to read this morning that Schumacher thinks Antonio Banderas, just over 40, is too old to play the title role in the movie. In fact, he's about the right age since the character is supposed to be a Svengali-like father figure to the girl.
Schumacher says no to Banderas
I've heard Hugh Jackman's name tossed around (though not by Schumacher). Jackman, like Banderas, has musical theatre chops but is attached to a stage project soon which probably makes him either unavailable or expensive.
I have to admit my initial reaction to this was kind of an "Eeeek!!" too. But I dunno. I've noticed that as long as Schumacher stays away from Batman, he tends to make movies that are at least decent. And his films tend to have an over-stylized look to them, something that might actually work for Phantom.
I just hope we don't get a skin-tight rubber masquerade costume for the Phantom.
As for Antonio Bandares, I agree that he is not too old to play the title character, but I thought he was being considered for Raoul. Oh, well. No doubt he has the acting and musical chops for it, but both Raoul and the Phantom are supposed to be French. I guess we'll see.
I am now cautiously but curiously looking forward to this.
Schumacher has made some horrible movies, but he's also made some pretty good ones - I liked 8mm, I've heard nothing but good things about Tigerland, I'm at least interested in Phone Booth despite having seen the lame preview umpty-dozen times... And The Lost Boys, Flatliners and Falling Down all have their fans.
(And he's got a movie with Cate Blanchette and Colin Farrell coming out in Europe this May that I've never heard of? How does that happen?)
(And he did the costumes for Sleeper? Geez, the IMDB is a font of weird and scary information!)
Anyway... I don't fear this guy out of general principle - but I get the feeling that he shouldn't be allowed to get to comfortable. But a lot of filmmakers are like that; they don't feel much ownership of a Batmovie or the like, so they don't necessarily feel compelled to do their best work. The Phantom Of The Opera could be the same problem, but if he is (as has been implied) pretty tight with Webber, he might be more willing to bring his A game to it.
How many of you have seen the musical? (Listening to the various cast albums doesn't count.) Schumacher's over-the-top style could be just what this thing needs. It's all about spectacle and grand gestures. In fact, I think they could probably reuse some of the sets from Batman and Robin.
And don't doubt for a minute that Andrew Lloyd Webber will be very hands-on.
Having seen the stage production both on Broadway and in San Francisco, I really don't see the choice of Schumacher as director for the film version as being negative. With his visual flair, he might just be able to pull this off.
FYI, a 2-disc special edition of the Lon Chaney version of Phantom of the Opera is coming to DVD later this year.
I cannot see Banderas in the lead role (his voice is not powerful enough, IMO), but could live with him as Raoul (although there are probably better choices). As for Schumacher, the only film of his I have seen is Batman and Robin, so my view is slanted by that travesty. I will give him the benefit of doubt on this one.
I have seen this musical on stage twice in Toronto, and hope the production is done justice on the big screen.
If Banderas's singing at the Lloyd Webber birthday celebration is any indication please keep him FAR away from the Phantom movie please.
I also agree that with proper restraint Schumacher's style could fit this film very well. Though I don't think the movie's style should end up being anymore "lavish" than Moulin Rouge.
If he had to pick a Batman director, why couldn't it have been Tim Burton? Seems like a better choice to me. Although if it was me picking I think I would have gone with Baz Lhurman based on his recent record with visually over-the-top musicals.
Tim Burton would have put the phantom in a horizontally striped suit with a huge collar, and Raoul would have to wrestle a huge, Burton-trademarked "striped worm" that attacks Christina while they're in the boat under the Opera House!!
Never liked the stage musical, but loved the Lon Chaney version. I could see this working better on film, but Tim Burton would have been my first choice. Wasn't Schumacher one of the creators of "The Wiz" and if so (ugh) how can he think Bandreas is too old, Diana Ross was WAY too old.
In the minority here but I liked the movie of Evita (1996). Banderas was good in his role as the Greek Chorus but I'm not sure if he could handle the Phantom title role (not due to age; I'm just not sure of his singing chops - has he been in any other movie-musicals?). Andrea Corr's song was cut (Madonna did it which of course made no sense in story-telling) but I can easily picture her as Christine(Christine needs to be a naive character, who is attractive, and can play the role with a timid nature and be slightly hestitant.)
Hollywood will probably go with established actresses and end up with Moulin Rouge (Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman) or Chicago (Renee, CZJ) - i.e. sub-par musical performances. Most opera stars are not attractive enough to be on film; movie stars lack training; pop stars on the other hand are trained with music videos.
Phantom - Is Michael Crawford still young enough?
Christine - Andrea Corr
Raoul - Jason Alexander or Jim Broadbent
Carlotta - Stephanie Lawrence (she was in the '89 version & has recorded the ALW tunes)